The S&P 500 closed lower Thursday, as concerns grew about the global recovery at a time when the delta variant has caused a spike in infections, triggering a jolt of volatility that rattled investor sentiment.
Asian shares stumbled to two-month lows on Friday and were set for their worst weekly performance since February as confidence took a beating over the global spread of the Delta virus variant and worries it could stall a worldwide economic recovery.
Asia Pacific stocks were mostly down Thursday morning. U.S. shares and Treasuries gained after the U.S. Federal Reserve said in its latest policy meeting minutes that more evidence of a robust economic recovery from COVID-19 would be needed to set an asset tapering timeline.
The dollar traded near its highest in three months versus major peers on Thursday after minutes of the Federal Reserve’s June policy meeting confirmed the world’s biggest central bank is moving toward tapering its asset purchases as soon as this year.
Oil was down Thursday morning in Asia for a third straight session as investors are keeping an eye on the ongoing production dispute between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that affects global fuel supply.
U.S. stocks ended higher on Wednesday and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched record closing highs after minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting indicated officials may not be ready yet to move on tightening policy.